Research in Space - New Business Cases 

Location: ERASMUS Centre, ESTEC, The Netherlands

Date: 3&4 April 2019


ESA invites commercial, industrial, academic, and international partners to a workshop on new business cases for research in space which will be held on 3&4 April at ESTEC, Erasmus Centre.  The workshop provides an opportunity to bring together the community’s knowledge on how market-driven research and applications can be served in low Earth orbit in the future.

Specific workshop objectives are to:

  • Understand enablers and barriers for the transition to a global market for research and applications in space, during and after operations of ISS;  
  • Identify use cases beyond ESA needs;
  • Share knowledge about past and present commercialisation approaches;
  • Build a vision and high-level architecture for exploitation of platforms in Low Earth Orbit for research and application by 2038; 
  • Find concrete opportunities for increasing the engagement of the private sector.

Part 1 - day 1 (13:00-17:00) day 2 (09:00-13:00)

  • The business case: value proposition, customer search, investor search, market, users and demand
  • New utilisation scenarios
    • Utilisation by new, global users
    • In-space manufacturing
    • Tourism
    • Classical LEO/GEO (e.g. Earth observation) previously not available at ISS
    • Long-duration human spaceflight operations testing for Moon and Mars
  • Legal / Regulatory Aspects
    • Impact of global market
    • What are the “rules of the game”?
    • How to handle new partners in the framework
  • Architectures and Technologies
    • Assembly techniques (space vs ground / inflatable)
    • Operational Concepts and orbital considerations
    • Transportation architectures leveraging LEO
    • Disruptive Capabilities: Low-cost logistics, Heavy-lift / low cost per kg launch, High closure life support
  • International Industrial Cooperation and Competition

Part 2 -  day 2 (14:00-17:00)

Business in Space Growth Network (BSGN) - workshop

​This facilitated half-day workshop forms part of the engagement to bring the best thinking toward establishment of a Business in Space Growth Network that will stimulate demand for LEO opportunities and beyond.  It will bring together organisations interested in the proposed Network, including customers, service providers and potential network members.  The workshop will provide a platform for ideas and opinions, and enable collaborative evolution of the scope and plans for creating a set of interventions that will define the Business in Space Growth Network and drive future LEO commercialisation and growth.  


  • ISS users
  • Service providers
  • Academia and research organisations
  • International partners
  • Industry
  • Commercial Companies
  • Memeber of incubators, accelerators, innovation/technology/R&D centres, industry associations
  • Any person/entity that contemplates using the unique environment in Earth orbit for their business